Rosemary Seninde Mubende pre-entry exams
State Minister for Primary Education Rosemary Seninde rejects plan to have P 7 pre-entry exams in Mubende. Photo/URN

State Minister for Primary Education Rosemary Seninde rejects plan to have P 7 pre-entry exams in Mubende District

Plan by Mubende District Education Department to give special examination (P 7 pre-entry exams) to Primary 6 Pupils before attending Primary 7 have been intercepted by the Ministry of Education and Sports.

The decision to hold P 7 pre-entry exams was arrived at after a meeting held by the district officials, and last week they declared the new development that will see every P.6 pupils sit for a pre-entry examination, pass it before accessing P.7 classroom in Mubende District, effective next year.

District authorities say the decision is intended to improve pupils’ performance in the final Primary Leaving Examinations (P.L.E).

The plan comes with a cost, whereby each pupil will be required to pay Shs6,000 to facilitate the project.

But, State Minister for Primary Education, Rosemary Seninde has rejected the plan saying that it’s against Ministry of Education’s principles and guidelines. Seninde adds that any school that fails to follow the ministry’s directives, will face cancellation of its UNEB Centre Number.

“We have advised the schools in Mubende District not to subject the pupils to pre-entry examinations. We have also liaised with Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) to ensure that schools which are involved in such acts of refusing the student to sit exams from their school dealt with,” Seninde said.

“We can easily remove the UNEB Examinations Centres from them because we have the authority to do so,” Seninde added.

In her further remarks, Seninde says the planed pre-P.7 entry examination drafted by Mubende District Education officials is totally against government’s automatic promotion policy.

Automatic promotion permits every pupil to go to the next class regardless of how he/she has performed. According to Seninde, teachers should nurture pupils well, right from P.1 other than waiting to eliminate them in P.7.

“The District leaders must not forget that the automatic promotion policy has not been scrapped off yet. Other than waiting for pupils to reach P.7 and then begin screening them, teachers must make sure that they teach all of them well right from Primary One to Primary Seven, following the proper teaching guidelines,” Seninde said.

Responding to Minister Seninde’s statement regarding their plan, Benson Kayiwa, the Mubende District Education Officer said that plan to give P 7 pre-entry exams pupils in the district, was still a proposal.

But he says the plan has to be implemented, despite the resistance, and before they activate the plan, first they are going to engage the education ministry to adopt the plan as well.

“We are determined to implement our plan despite the resistance we are getting from some quarters. We strongly believe that they (pre-primary seven exams) will help our pupils improve academically,” Kayiwa observed.

The plan to have P 7 pre-entry exams in Mubende district follows the poor performance in P.L.E exams over the years, which according to the District officials, is as a result of recurrent absenteeism of teachers from school and poor preparation of candidates by the teachers and poor teaching technics.